A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well, it's about time I get to read this one...for whatever reason, my library is always A) really slow to acquire copies of Sabaa Tahir's books, and B) never picks up more than three or four of each, which means the waiting list can get super-duper long, super-duper fast.
Like a few other fantasy sequels I've read in my time, A Torch Against The Night has a tendency to focus more on travel to the next important setting than on action, and as a result, the first half or so of the book feels a bit slow sometimes. But in those slow stretches, there's some excellent world-building beyond the militaristic environment of the first book, including some expanded looks at the world outside the Martial Empire where Laia and Elias came from. Not to mention, Tahir, in this book, adds a third POV - Helene's - to further flesh out the story.
It's when the story takes us to Kauf that things really pick up, though. At that point, I'm actually pretty strongly reminded of the Boiling Rock from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Best of all, unlike, say, Glass Sword or A Court of Mist and Fury, this book feels like it ends on the right note - leaving me wanting more, but not deploying an aggravating af cliffhanger. Good thing too, because Tahir seems to like taking a little more time to write each book. Not that that's a bad thing, of course... :)
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